Hello zombie fans,
First things first, I am alive, as is this blog.
Let's just say that having a child takes over WAY more of my life than I ever imagined.
I'm hoping to be back at it soon, so keep the faith!
At the very least, I have a backlog of Burt Malone letters I should finally get around to posting.
That's it. Thanks for being patient.
“The Horrible Dr. Bones” is another Full Moon pictures production. The director was one of the directors involved in “The Dungeonmaster” which pretty much means that we can expect nothing short of pure cheese. Cheese can satisfy sometimes, but it also can lead to experiences like “Shrunken Heads” or anything Charles Band is involved with. We won’t know how this one will play out until we attack it head on. So, let’s do this. It has a wonderfully short seventy minute run time, so, at least that will help.
[THE DVD I ORDERED DOESN’T WORK.]
Starkwell: Probably for the best.
Lovelock: Thank you, Universe.
Zero thumbs up. Too bad the ‘I don’t remember where I bought this’ store has a no return policy.
So the film is a cheap Canadian horror film. The DVD, once you hit “play movie” it opens up with the cheapest looking, shot on VHS (EVEN THOUGH IT’S 2007), footage of the director, Brian Singleton, talking about the movie in an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, chest flowing in the breeze, while “drinking” from what looks to be a “brown-bagged” bottle of… champagne? Apple cider? I think we might need something stronger to get through this.
[After the opening credits, shots of car driving, worst “pop punk” music ever plays.]
Starkwell: Why is always a bad “pop punk” song?
Lovelock: Probably because it’s always like “director’s brother’s shitty band”.
Starkwell: Good call.
The movie is CLEALY just a movie made by a bunch of dudes for fun while on summer vacation. It’s bad, but I could see maybe it would be fun to watch if you know the people in the movie. To be totally fair, for what is clearly a no-budget movie shot by a bunch of friends, it’s alright I guess. Bad writing, bad jokes, and no acting at all… but somehow Lovelock and Starkwell haven’t set fire to the TV yet… granted, it’s early. The guys talking in the fake Quebec accents are REALLY bad. Really fucking bad. I would expect more from actual Canadians. They're probably from Toronto.
[Blonde girl is wearing an Expos shirt.]
Starkwell: Let’s go Expos!
Lovelock: I’m pretty sure the redneck mechanic was quoting “Fletch” just now…
The premise is pretty straightforward. A group of teens go camping at an old campsite that is closed down and rumored to be haunted, and bad shit happens. The problem is, it is taking a really long time to get going. Also the novelty of this being backyard horror made by a bunch of dumb kids from Ontario is wearing off, and now everyone is getting crazy bored.
Lovelock: At least they haven’t played any more of that shitty “my friend’s band” music.
Then randomly the girl walks in on her boyfriend, one of the Quebec dudes, and he’s in his sleeping bag naked with the other Quebec dude? Because, people from Quebec are gay? At this point the movie lost Starkwell. He got up, said something about being too old for this shit, and ran out of the room, top speed. Just then, the movie shifted, and people finally started dying.
Lovelock: Why would kids from Quebec be drinking moonshine?
Then the group’s friends show up. Basically a second group of shitty non-actors. It’s like the movie has started over. This second group is as obnoxious as the first. Equally unfunny. I think the best shot in the movie so far was one where the “afro” guy was “taking a leak”… but when he turned his head, you could see that he was just squeezing a Gatorade bottle. Makes me think that they couldn’t afford a second bottle of Gatorade, so they were like “I think we got it”.
Lovelock: The nerd guy’s vest is different in every scene.
Lovelock: These woods look like the same ones that Fred Penner shot his show in.
Seriously, what ever happened to that guy? Also, what ever happened to Raffi?
Lovelock: If it’s an abandoned campground why would there be an old basketball court… in an abandoned parking lot… next to a highway? Wait they have a rock climbing wall?
Fred Penner had an album in 2008? Crazy. And Raffi has been upto some seriously rad shit. Amazing. Also he had a new album this year? Oh also, the movie still sucks. Nothing has happened for the last half hour.
[Zombies rip nerd guy in half and eat his intestines.]
Lovelock: I mean, it looked awful, but ‘A’ for effort.
[In the next shot, his vest is different again.]
Lovelock: If you are alone, being chased by zombies, and you wander into and old farmhouse, and you stumble upon a piano… WHY WOULD YOU HIT ONE OF THE KEYS?
In the end everyone dies. And then there are ten minutes of ending credits and bloopers. The guys who made this obviously love movies and each other, even if they themselves are terrible at writing and maybe even editing, and none of them can act. And their friend’s band sucks. They’re not half bad at gore though. The effects are obviously cheap, but a lot of fun and pretty bloody. They shouldn’t have wasted so much time setting up story. If it just been full of a lot more of the gags that were all over the last twenty minutes, this might have actual been enjoyable.
He’s already once expressed his love for the wildly popular “The Walking Dead”, while simultaneously hating on how popular zombies have become. It was only a matter of time before he started checking out some of the other shows that have popped up in the wake of the AMC show's success.
Well hello again, good sir.
I’ve been kind of going crazy with the binge watching of late, and I stumbled upon a couple of real gems. And some turds, obviously.
I started up with the somewhat slowly paced “The Returned”, a French show based on the film “They Came Back”, or “Les Revenants”.
The show starts slow, and keeps that pace mostly throughout the eight episodes that I watched. Much like the film, it has a very serious tone, is totally weird and confusing, and at the same time, kind of scares the BAJEBUS out of me.
Unlike the film, the show starts off focused on a bus load of children that flew off a cliff suddenly coming back a year later as if nothing happened.
AND THE PARENTS FLIP THE FUCK OUT.
It’s eerie, it’s cool, and Mogwai did the soundtrack. And Mogwai kicks fucking ass and helps create mega tension.
Like in the film, the undead essentially try to resume their lives, unaware, seemingly, that they died. But there’s all sorts of mysterious shit going on and we are trying to figure out what the deal is. Super cool. I can’t wait to see the second season. Good, and complicated, characters. Great dialogue and acting. More television needs to be like this.
Which brings me to the somewhat unnecessary American version of “Les Revenants” called “Resurrection”. I can’t say it’s bad, actually. At least it’s SORT OF doing its own thing. It’s not like when “Quarantine” came out as a nearly identical, but just in English, version of “REC”. I haven’t seen enough of it to really pass any judgment. It got picked up for a second season, which doesn’t NECESSARILY mean anything, but it does mean they got to develop the story further. Which is always a good thing. Not sure if the third season is coming or not.
Next up, in an attempt to liven things up, I went for the tragically short-lived MTV show “Death Valley”.
I can see why this show didn’t make it on a network aimed at people who watch shows about teen moms, people falling on their testicles, and other such dumb shit. Most MTV shows that aren’t reality TV are on par, creatively speaking, with most Disney Channel shows.
“Death Valley” was gory, ACTUALLY FUNNY, and in a way, fairly original. Which makes it a strange offering for MTV. Shot mockumentary style, and following a police department in charge of taking care of werewolves, zombies and vampires, I found myself digging the characters immediately. Well-paced, well written, and a lot of fun… obviously, it was cancelled after one season. Had the show been on a network like FX, or even something like Showtime, AMC or HBO, the series’ fate might have been radically different.
Which brings me to the VIOLENTLY unfunny, unoriginal and unnecessary ScyFy Channel original, “Z Nation”. It’s a production from “The Asylum”, so honestly, I don’t even need to watch a single episode to know that it is a complete piece of shit - a lame mockbuster cash grab attempt to ride the zombie wave. But, I felt I should watch at least one episode. All of my suspicions were more than correct. In short, the show should be called “ZZZZZzzzzzz Nation”. Because it’s boring. So boring.
And yet, I could totally see it going on for a couple of years. Because somehow shit like this gets watched. Somewhere out there are idiots thinking "man, can't wait for the new season of Z Nation". And then they take a selfie and talk about how good "The Big Bang Theory" is. Brutal.
Next up on my marathon of binge watching was a BBC show called “In the Flesh”.
HOLY SHIT. The zombie apocalypse is over, and the government are rehabilitating the “used to be” zombies of the world. The doctors call the formerly dead “partially deceased syndrome sufferer”. It’s not that no one has tackled the idea of “what if the zombies stopped being zombies” or “what if there WAS a cure”, but in a way, kind of nobody has. At least not with the serious tone of this show. Within five minutes I can tell that I am not going to want to stop watching this one.
Way recommeneded. I’m glad I watched this after “Z Nation” because, quite honestly, I thought nothing would ever clean my brain of that depressingly bad show.
After all of this, and ending on a zombie show high note, I decided to take it up another notch and settle nicely into binge watching a ‘not actually a zombie show, but it has zombies in it, technically’, known as “Game Of Thrones”, anxiously looking forward to any scene with the ‘White Walkers’, who are, basically, MEDIEVAL ZOMBIES FUCK YEAH.
And there are dragons.
Also, all of the wonderful female nudity is pretty nice.
He can complain all he wants about the zombie’s surge in popularity, but from the sound of it, even he agrees that it has lead to some rather good television… definitely more interesting than all the vampire crap out there in the wake of “Twilight”. Except "Z Nation" which sounds worse than it sounds. Anyways, here’s hoping that it takes at least a couple more years before we get a zombie sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel or some shit.
WHO’S THAT ZOMBIEeeeeEeeeeeee…
Lovelock and Starkwell don’t have that much experience with Troma, but what exposure they have had has not left them hopeful that anything with Troma attached to it is going to be all that satisfying. This one is actually one that WASN’T Troma originally, they just picked up the rights to release it on DVD. So, that gives us hope to the two who, let’s be honest, don’t want to have to sit through another “Poultrygeist”. Troma’s not all bad. But it sure ain’t all good. Alright. Come on. Horror star!
[DVD has some opening introduction with Lloyd Kaufman. It’s like a hundred million minutes long.]
Lovelock: No. NO! Start the movie.
Starkwell: Why is this so long?
[Honestly, we almost lost them before the fucking movie started. Classic Troma.]
The story seems to revolve around an old actor, a Vincent Price / Bela Lugosi type of guy that I will, from here on out refer to as, Draculactor. In the opening scene he straight up murders a director that he has a disagreement with. Then they show him at some kind of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” type of deal and he passes out. Some girl does mouth to mouth on him and revives. Then he goes home and some fat guy tries to kill him but LOOK OUT Draculactor kills fat guy instead.
Lovelock: I’m starting to think he just faked passing out so some young student would do mouth to mouth on him.
Starkwell: He is remarkably spry when he wants to be.
After killing the fat guy Draculactor gets out of bed, plays his organ and then… climbs into a coffin, closes it, and apparently dies. Lovelock and Starkwell are looking a little shocked and confused, and someone said “dude knows how to make an exit”. He also filmed his own farewell and it was shown at his funeral. Anyways, then some eighties punks, big fans of his work I guess, break into his tomb and steal his body.
Lovelock: Is this basically “Weekend at Bernies”?
Starkwell: I have a feeling something is gonna revive him.
Lovelock: So it’s “Weekend at Bernies 2”?
Starkwell: If that helps you.
Lovelock: It doesn’t.
Starkwell: It’s actually feeling more to me like “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things”.
Lovelock: I slept through that.
Starkwell: And yet you remember both "Bernie" movies.
The movie is boring. But eventually after a cheesy séance and some loud sound effects that washed out most of the dialogue, it appears that Draculactor is back from the dead and killing the punks with all of his telekinetic abilities. Admittedly, at this point, the movie starts being a bit more fun. One highlight, for example, was when Draculactor stared at a woman in a bathrobe and made her burst into flames, at which point, I believe Lovelock said “burn baby burn”. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer all that much else, and gets boring again real fast. Eventually Draculactor kills everyone, even his widow when she comes to visit his tomb.
[The movie ends with Draculactor talking to the screen / the audience about how Hell isn’t that bad.]
Lovelock: Wait, what?
“Vengeance of the Zombies” was a film released the same year as what we are about to watch. “Vengeance” was also written by, and starring, PAUL NASCHY. “Vengeance” was a buttload of stupid fun. So, in conclusion, this should be fantastic. Gentleman, start your engines. NASCHY!
[DVD goes PLAY MOVIE and we are treated to a NASCHY introduction to the movie, wherein he is holding an axe.]
Lovelock: Do we even need to watch this? I feel like it won’t live up to how awesome it already is in my mind.
Starkwell: It definitely will not live up to that.
As is always the case with these Spanish films, the costumes are out of control awesome. Naschy is wearing a bad ass cape, and appears to be some sort of vampire, in the olden times. He is about to be decapitated, along with his insanely hot woman who is, obviously, nearly showing all of her boobies in her insane dress.
[Naschy is beheaded, and his woman is hung naked, obviously, upside down and is bled to death.]
Starkwell: The Spaniards certainly like to cut into a naked bare boob.
Lovelock: Meanwhile the scar faced knight watching all of this happen… ALSO PLAYED BY NASCHY.
Starkwell: I feel a Klumps joke coming along.
Lovelock: I was gonna go the Martin Lawrence route.
Starkwell: Sweet beheading, by the way.
[Cut to the present day (1973), and a dashing, cleaned up, suit-wearing Naschy is in an artist’s apartment watching him paint.]
Lovelock: Seven minutes into the film and he has already played THREE characters.
Starkwell: I think that might actually be the same character as the beginning, I think he’s immortal.
Lovelock: Or… BACK FROM THE DEAD. Whoomp. There it is.
Then there’s a really cheesy scene where the characters all go to a séance, and the old lady medium talks to Dead Naschy from the past. There are just so many Naschys at this point, it is quite hard to keep up. Then the Painter finishes his painting, and it turns out he has painted a headless Naschy holding his head (strangely he doesn't seem to think, hey that looks a lot like my friend). Then he sees a floating Naschy head above his painting, bleeding and laughing at him.
Lovelock: Which Naschy is which? Why did they make him play the knight too?
[Naschy fights off some car jackers.]
Lovelock: Paul Naschy: Man of Action.
Starkwell: So, wait, the gang is going to the old Naschy castle where the original Vampire Naschy was killed and buried?
Lovelock: Paul Naschy: Man of Naschy.
Starkwell: I’m really confused.
Ok, so I guess they are digging around the property looking for treasure. I can only assume that they’ll find NASCHY HEAD.
[So one of the gardeners opens the treasure chest they found and whatever he sees possesses him, and he turns around and kills some dudes.]
Lovelock: Oh man, you just know there’s a sweet fucking Naschy head in that chest!
Starkwell: I guess.
Lovelock: Totally where “Pulp Fiction” got all of its ideas.
Starkwell: Wait, what?
The possessed guy goes around the castle killing scantily clad girls who have been left totally unattended, by Naschy and other men, in a castle that has a mysterious murderer lurking about. The director makes sure to show boobs when he can and, just for good measure, there is another “someone cuts into a bare breast” scene… BLIND DEAD STYLE. Apparently all of this murder has made the Naschy horny, because he immediately cheats on his woman with the other random servant woman that he has known since SHE was a child. Stay classy, Naschy.
[Painter hooks up with his now possessed blonde idiot girlfriend, and now he is possessed. He goes after Naschy’s woman.]
Lovelock: She’s probably better off dead than with Naschy.
[Meanwhile Naschy goes back to the other woman… probably for a round two.]
Starkwell: Wow. Tells his woman to keep cooking, then goes off to bone the young girl.
Lovelock: After throwing dead bodies in a lake.
[We finally see Naschy’s undead head in the treasure chest.]
Lovelock: NAILED IT.
The possessed gang go on to put Naschy’s head back onto his body, and he gets up and WALKS. Next, the plan seems to be to shove his woman’s spirit into the Current Naschy’s woman.
[They put Current Woman into the coffin that the old skeleton of Vampire Naschy’s original woman is in… But first they obviously need to cut off all of her clothes and grope her while showing full bush.]
Starkwell: Every time.
Lovelock: Paul Naschy: Pervert.
Naschy grabs another feel or two of dem boobies before he stabs her. Then, with a hand full of bloodnad her boobies, he fondles her some more. Next thing you know Original Naschy woman is back! Current Naschy Woman has vanished.
[The possessed gang is to become food for the undead.]
Starkwell: This is working out well for both Naschys.
Undead Woman goes into town naked and walks into a random dude’s room and seduces him and kills him and, I guess, eats him. But not before Boobs, Bush, and some unfortunate dude ass and balls.
[Naschy seduces a random girl in her room in the village.]
Starkwell: I could buy that if a dude turns his head and sees a naked woman, he might be like “LET’S DO THIS”… but are we to believe that a woman would see a fully clothed and caped BEARDED Naschy standing in the corner of her room, hiding behind a curtain, and would STRIP, GET ON THE BED, and begin fondling herself?
Lovelock: Woman want him, men want to be him.
Starkwell: I guess.
Lovelock: Either that or it was REALLY easy to get chicks In Spain in the seventies.
Starkwell: Right… it couldn’t possibly be that the dudes making this movie were perverts.
Basically Vampire Naschy has the world’s most powerful bedroom eyes. One look and the ladies are like “do me yo-yo master”. Then… all of the dead people emerge from the swamp and come back to the castle.
Lovelock: Say what you will about anything else, but those are some seriously sweet looking zombies.
Starkwell: Meanwhile Naschy hasn’t even really noticed that his lady is no longer around.
Lovelock: Because he has a new lady… DUH.
Possessed painter shoots Naschy dead. He then tries to kill Naschy’s New Lady, but the necklace she is wearing frees him from the possession. There’s a pretty sweet gore scene of Vampire Lady ripping a dude’s heart out. Eventually everyone except the one girl die and she uses the necklace to kill Vampire Naschy, but not before a few more boobs are exposed and groped.
[Girl throws the necklace into the lake.]
Starkwell: Wouldn’t that be a necklace to keep, you know, in case?